Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Swarming Particles

Abstract:
Silver chloride microparticles act as light-driven micromotors that organize into swarms

Swarming Particles

Weinheim, Germany | Posted on April 8th, 2009

A swarm of tiny machines, speeding in concert through the bloodstream to repair an organ or deliver a drug to its target area, microrobots working together to construct a nanotechnological component—although it sounds like science fiction, it is a thoroughly realistic future scenario. Amazing progress has already been made in the production of autonomous nano- and micromotors, but the little machines have continued to lack in team spirit. To complete challenging tasks, the individual machines must communicate and cooperate with each other. Researchers led by Ayusman Sen at Pennsylvania State University (USA) have now introduced silver chloride microparticles that can "swarm" together, almost like living single-celled organisms. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, irradiation with UV light causes the particles to give off "signal substances" that "attract" other particles.

Living cells and organisms are able to exchange information with each other to accomplish tasks as a team. Single-celled slime molds, for example, living in unfavorable conditions thus release a special substance. Neighboring slime molds follow the gradient of this signal substance and aggregate in the form of a multi-celled fruiting body. The silver chloride particles used by Sen's team, which are about 1µm in size, behave in a similar fashion when irradiated with UV light. Silver chloride decomposes under UV light, releasing ions that act as both a propulsion mechanism and signal substance.

This phenomenon is based on diffusiophoresis, the movement of particles along an electrolyte gradient. The silver chloride particles "swim" toward a higher ion concentration. Because of irregularities in the surfaces of the particles and non-uniform irradiation, the degradation of the particles is asymmetric. Different quantities of ions are released in different places on the surface, which results in a local ion gradient around the particles. The particle thus produces its own ion gradient, which propels it at speeds up to 100 µm/s (self-diffusiophoresis). Neighboring sliver chloride particles follow the ion gradient of the solution and "swim" to regions of higher particle density. After several minutes, this results in small, stable "swarms" of particles. Photochemically inactive silicon dioxide particles also react to the ion signal, aggregating around the silver chloride particles.

This system can be used as a nonbiological model for communication between cells. Most importantly though, it represents a new design principle for "intelligent" synthetic nano- or micromachines that can work together as a team.

Author: Ayusman Sen, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park (USA), research.chem.psu.edu/axsgroup/dr_sen.html

Title: Schooling Behavior of Light-Powered Autonomous Micromotors in Water

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2009, 48, No. 18, 3308-3312, doi: 10.1002/anie.200804704

####

About Angewandte Chemie
Introduced in 1997, Wiley InterScience® (www.interscience.wiley.com) is a leading international resource for scientific, technical, medical and scholarly content.

In June 2008, Wiley InterScience incorporated the online content formerly hosted on Blackwell Synergy to provide access to over 3 million articles across 1400 journals. This massive archive, combined with some 7000 OnlineBooks and major reference works—plus industry leading databases such as The Cochrane Library, and the acclaimed Current Protocols laboratory manuals—make Wiley InterScience one of the world's premiere resources for advanced research.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Editorial office:

or
Amy Molnar (US):
or
Jennifer Beal (UK):
or
Alina Boey (Asia):

Copyright © Wiley InterScience

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014

Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014

FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research July 30th, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Molecular Machines

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 25th, 2014

Announcements

University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics July 30th, 2014

Analytical solutions from Malvern Instruments support University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in understanding environmental effects of nanomaterials July 30th, 2014

FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research July 30th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE